Britain bans rape, sexual violence scenes in movies for people under age 15

Scenes that show rape and sexual violence in films will not be permitted in movies for people under the age of 15, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) announced.

The new guidelines were published Thursday and will give rise to a new criteria of movie ratings in the U.K., The Guardian reported.

The 2008 film “The Duchess” starring Keira Knightley, for example, which was given a 12A rating at the time of its release, will get a 15 under the new rule because of a scene that heavily implied the rape of a character.

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“The feedback we have had from the public during the current consultation is that they don’t think there is any place for depictions of sexual violence at 12A at all,” Craig Lapper, the head of compliance at the BBFC, told the outlet. In the organization's rating, 12A designates something as suitable for persons 12 years and older.

“The key message from the guideline consultation was heightened concern about sexual violence across the board. Although we operate very strict standards around sexual violence there was an appetite on the part of the public for us to be even more cautious than we are at the moment,” he continued.

Lapper said people have called on the BBFC to be stricter with its classification of 15-rated content, meaning the item is suitable for an audience 15 years and older.

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